KMLF Spotlight: Sutton Woodworking

Published 8:49 am Friday, April 6, 2018

With the annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival coming up, the KMLF Spotlight highlights various local vendors and musical acts set to appear at the event. This week’s Spotlight is Sutton Woodworking.

Tonia Sutton runs the business with her husband Curt Sutton and their five children. For Sutton, working with wood runs in the family.

“My father was a woodworker, he was a well-known woodworker in his day. He had his products in many stores throughout the area, including Newberry’s in Pineville and Cudjo’s Cave on top of the mountain in Cumberland Gap. I can remember as children sitting and working on Dad’s crafts with him and going to craft shows. It was amazing to be such a close family and to get to see my daddy’s work in places,” she said.

For Sutton, crafting art with wood provides a more physical experience than other art forms.

“The first thing is that I am a very energetic person. When it comes to crafting I need to be moving to feel as if I am accomplishing something, so woodworking gives me this opportunity. I can’t sit still while working so it is hard for me to paint, sew, etc.” she said.

The wood itself is something Sutton has a deep love for. She loves the smell of freshly cut wood and enjoys observing the grain and imperfection a piece of wood has to offer.

“To see the grains and the imperfections in the wood just symbolizes to me the world we live in where nothing is perfect, but we can make something beautiful if we look hard enough,” she said.

Sutton was a stay-at-home mother for most of her children’s lives. As they got older they expressed interest in wood crafting and from there, Sutton decided to make a go at creating the business.

Sutton speaks to the appeal of local, handcrafted merchandise from small businesses as something that at the end of the day, has better quality.

“Sure, you can go pay a price for something at the store but how long is that product going to last you? With hand made crafts you are getting a lot of time and thought put into the product that is going to last you a lot longer,” she said.

This year will mark the first time Sutton will be selling her goods at the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival.

“When I got the invite to attend the festival I was ecstatic. To think that someone saw my Facebook page and wanted me to attend just filled my heart with joy. I take great pride in what I do and can’t wait to see where this adventure takes us,” she said.